DONNA LOU HERALD CRADDOCK, 72 of Lake, West Virginia, passed away Saturday, April 10, 2021, at home after an extended illness. Donna was born October 17, 1948, at Holden Hospital to Harry Payne Herald and Beatrice Bowen Herald. Donna was blessed with one younger sister, Diana Lynn Herald Clay.
Donna met the love of her life, Rev. Johnny Craddock, when they were in 7th grade at Logan Central. Years later they reconnected while pumping gas in the summer of 1968. Their first date was taking a bunch of kids to see the Fourth of July Fireworks. Donna and Johnny pledged their forevers on December 6, 1968.
Donna was a proud 1966 graduate of Logan High School where she was selected Miss Logan High. She graduated from Marshall University in 1972 with a Bachelor’s in Education and started teaching school. She went on to earn her Master's degree in 1975. Donna was a teacher to her core. She spent most of her time at West Logan and Justice Grade Schools. Donna was employed by the Logan County Board of Education from 1972 until her retirement due to medical necessity in 2001. During her employment she was active in the Girl Scouts, LCEA, West Virginia Education Association, West Virginia Center for Professional Development and was the Logan County Teacher of the Year in 1985.
In addition to her employment, Donna was very involved as the wife of a Church of God minister. Together, she and Johnny had pastorates in Naugatuck, Clendinin, Ferrellsburg, Dempsey Branch, East Lynn, Stone Branch and Charleston. She played piano, sang, taught Sunday school, prayed, cooked, headed up the ladies ministries, fund raised and whatever the church needed at the time.
Always a performer, Donna wrote and recorded a gospel album in the 1990s. She exemplified the lyrics of one of those songs with the way she lived her life. “I know you have a work and here am I, Lord. Here am I” seemed to be her motto.
While Donna and Johnny didn’t have children of their own, a child never did without when they were around. To this day, there are still kids who call her “Aunt Donna.”
In addition to her loving husband Johnny and sister Diana, she is survived by “the niece and nephew God gave her sister for her,” Leah (Aaron) Stone, and Josh (Randi Denton) Clay. Also left to cherish her memory are her brother-in-law Eric Craddock; nieces Tonya (Rick) Bailey, Hope Dempsey and Sherry (Joey) Sharp; and nephew Daniel Milam; as well as a host of other cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, former students, church family, and friends.
Those preceding and celebrating her home are her parents Harry and Beatrice Herald; mother and father-in-law Ocie and Emma Craddock, sisters-in-law Audra Milam and Freda Dempsey; nieces Kim Dempsey and Debbie Haltuch; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. Additionally waiting for her across the rainbow bridge are beloved dogs Poochie Pup, Princess, Rover and Spike.
The family would like to especially thank Donna’s dedicated caregivers, Leann Messer, Yuellia Amburgey, Veronica Miller and Patricia Mullins; the staff at Logan Regional Medical Center for their extraordinary care over the past few years; Dr. Billy Mullen for never giving up; and Riley Joe Evans and staff for their care and guidance.
Pallbearers will be family members Joshua Clay, Aaron Stone, Steven Wandling, and former students Chip Tender, Bryan Kidd and Chris Kidd.
Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at Evans Funeral Home with Pastors Vivie Marcum and Stephan Webb officiating. Visitation will be two hours prior to the services Wednesday at the funeral home.
Burial will follow in Highland Memory Garden at Godby. Due to COVID-19 and the physical health of some family members, it is requested that those attending follow CDC recommendations for lessening the spread.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Evans Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Chapmanville, W.Va.